Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pre-Flight Test

Pre-Flight Test

Written 23 October, 2012

Our secret deep-sea test vehicle finally got its shakedown run.

We took it to The Vernian Sea, where sea level is set to 100 meters instead of the usual twenty. This gives plenty of room to maneuver underwater.

The sea and the surrounding sims, including Port Babbage, are some of Second Life's best, filled with giant steampunk robots and other Victorian and Edwardian wonders. It's a great place for submersibles and airships, so what better place to test our under-the-grid vehicle?

But before we took our descent vehicle for its formal test, I wanted to make sure our vehicle was airtight.

That's me, above, at the left. To my right is my intrepid test pilot Sweetie, who, aside from pushing every available button and tweaking the textures of the windshield, did an admirable job.

"Let's go," she said.

"No, no," I said. "Didn't you see Apollo 13? We have to do the pre-flight, all 627 steps."

"Houston, we have a problem," she said dryly. "Our commander is anal retentive."

I ran the checklist anyway.

"All occupants seated and belted?" I said.

"Duh, said Sweetie.

"Main door closed."

She gave me a pitying look. "Door closed, check," she said.

"Life support status."

"It's just a pot-bellied stove," she said.

I stared hard at her. "Check," she said.


"Spots on."

"Fashionably plush interior?"

"Check," she sighed. She had not gotten her way with the interior.

"Sonar status?"

"Sonar on."

"Interior light?"

"Lights dimmed," she said.

"Running lights?"

"Running lights on."

"Altimeter?" I said.

"We can just look at the status bar at the top of our screen for our height," Sweetie said.

"Altimeter?" I said, louder this time.

"It's reading plus three meters," she said with a sigh.

"Teleporter status?" I said.

Sweetie pushed a button on the panel and there was a whooshing sound and a flash of blue smoke. "Operational," she said.

"Where are we?" I asked.

"I don't know," she said. "Where was button 5 supposed to take us?"

I opened the operator's manual notecard and thumbed through it. "Uh, space build," I said. "Low Earth orbit."

This looks about right," she said.

"There should be an orbiter," I said.

"Check," Sweetie said.

"Well, at least we know the teleporter works," I said.

"And since we're in a vacuum and are still breathing, we're airtight," Sweetie said brightly.

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